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White supremacist men and Auschwitz guards share the same mindset


No one understood concentration camp guards at Auschwitz better than the camp’s commandant, Rudolph Höss, who wrote a memoir before he was hanged for his war crimes against humanity.

He described the guards as “malicious, nasty, basically evil, vulgar, vile [and] low-natured. They see the prisoner as an object upon whom they can unlease their perverted urges, their bad moods, and their inferiority complexes without restraint or fear of resistance…They take every opportunity to terrorize…those they can’t stand, or those they have a grudge against…[T]heir intelligence is somewhat limited. They are especially satisfied by the mental anguish of their victims. They spend their time thinking up new methods of mental and physical torture.”

You can take this description almost verbatim and apply it to the kind of people who express their hatred towards Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, liberals and people of color on radical rightwing outposts, like Breitbart. Consider the “Lock her up!” chants that followed Hillary Clinton throughout the campaign. The most egregious example of this occurred when Michael Flynn demanded that she quit the campaign, in July 2016. As the now-disgraced and probably soon-to-be-indicted Flynn shouted, “We do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law,” his screaming audience chanted, “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!” in what, in another place and time, might have been “Sieg heil! Sieg heil! Sieg heil!” (Flynn, by the way, deliberately emphasized the word “she” in his rant—you can listen to the video and it’s obvious—the suggestion being that misogyny played an outsized role in the hatred of these white men towards America’s only woman presidential nominee).

Hillary was subject to many other malicious, nasty, vulgar and vile attacks. So was Obama, and the attacker-in-chief was none other than the bloated, perverted white man with the inferiority complex, who held so many grudges, Donald J. Trump. The video of Flynn’s speech, by the way, appeared on the website of a white supremacist group, Right Side Broadcasting Network, a shadowy organization run by angry white men with ties to Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s ousted campaign manager, and extreme rightwing Christian fanatics, including a pastor, Mark Burns, whom TIME called “Donald Trump’s Top Pastor.”

When you hear these rightwing neo-nazis declare that Hillary murdered people at Benghazi, or that Barack Obama was a terrorist born in Kenya, or that the Universe is 5,700 years old, or that climate change is a Chinese hoax, or that Paddock, the Las Vegas murderer, was a paid Democratic, pro-Hillary stooge, can you doubt that “Their intelligence is limited”? Every time there’s a new accusation against Hillary or Obama or any Democrat, can you doubt it’s because the haters “spen[t] their time thinking up new methods of mental torture”? Indeed, whole think tanks, funded by Koch, Mercer and DeVos money, employ legions of behavioral analysts and P.R. hacks, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to concoct ways to ramp up the hate level on the right. So, too, do their pro-Trump allies in the Russian government. It’s a formidable opposition.

And these people who undermine our democracy do so “without restraint or fear of resistance.” In another era, they might have been more discrete in their attacks, fearing public censure. But the emergence of one of their own, Donald J. Trump, as president has empowered and emboldened them. They no longer fear being identified, or even criticized, for they live within bubbles of like-minded people, who will never restrain or resist them, no matter how vile and low-natured their comments, because all share the same psychopathy.

Thought experiment: Imagine that Republicans control everything in America. Every town council, every mayoralty, every police department, every Senator and representative, the President of the United States of America, the Supreme Court. Is it difficult to envision them exacting revenge upon “libtards” and “snowflakes”? Democratic leaders and liberal influencers would be rounded up. Someone would have to stand guard over the political prisoners in their places of confinement. Who would get hired? There’s no place better to recruit “vulgar, vile” sadists than through the comments section at Breitbart. These white men, and a few deranged white women, are the progeny of the guards who worked at Auschwitz. The mental type is the same. The base level of savagery is the same. The lack of education is the same. The bad mood is the same. Rudolph Höss would have read their comments, and smiled. He knew these people. He understood them. It would boost his racist, anti-semitic spirit to know that the mind behind concentration-camp Nazism is alive and well in the United States of America in 2017.

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